The New Cave Wall

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In conceiving his famous symbolic allegory of humans as slaves chained to their seats, staring forever at images flickering on the wall of a cave, Plato could never have imagined how fantastically real his vision would one day become in a world where people sit for hours each day in their chairs staring at images on their television and computer screens.

Tocqueville warned us that art in a democracy could easily become crude and shoddy and facile. Even he would never have dreamed that we would be so willing to stare all day at an endless procession of brutal, obscene, degrading, and smarmy shows and commercials that focus chiefly on over-consumption and titillating entertainment.

Anonymous says:

I really like the connection made between Plato’s allegory of the Cave and tv. It is ironic that tv viewing is usually not a turning toward life but a kind of running away from life and that we in trying to run, chain ourselves…thank you for your thoughts above. I feel in accord with your remarks regarding the unsavory and otherwise un-edifying content of all too many tv programs.